Bleach: Orihime Inoue

Orihime Inoue is a fictional character and major figure in the anime and manga series Bleach created by Tite Kubo. She is a classmate and friend of Ichigo Kurosaki, the main character of the series. Like many other friends of Ichigo, she quickly develops spiritual powers of her own after Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper.

Orihime Inoue has long orange hair with bangs behind her ears supported by hairpins. She does not remove her hairpins, except when sleeping (she is seen without them in episode 64 after waking up), as they are worn in memory of her brother, and the manifestation of her spiritual energy power, the Shun Shun Rikka while her hair is worn long in honor of the promise Tatsuki Arisawa once made to protect her.[5] Her large breasts are occasionally made the subject of jokes in the series. She also possesses a very hard head, which has injured Uryū, Chad, and Ichigo. The only person who has been able to damage her head has been Yachiru Kusajishi in a comical moment when she is riding on Kenpachi Zaraki’s shoulders. Orihime has brown eyes in color pictures of the manga, but gray eyes in the anime.

Orihime is friendly, humorous, sensitive, and kind. She comes off as naive and rather clueless, which is at odds with her exceptionally high marks in school. Apparently, she is hopeless when it comes to technology. One of the members of the Handicrafts’ Club remarks that she is not smart enough to use a cell phone, the reason why she does not have one. Additionally, according to Tatsuki, Orihime has the fighting skill of a black belt; however, in the English dubbed version she says Orihime has the skill of a yellow belt.

Her cooking style can be described as very bad, more often strange to the point that aside from Rangiku Matsumoto and possibly Tessai Tsukabishi no one would think it delectable, and is one of the running jokes in the series.

Orihime has a tendency to rush into situations without thinking, sometimes leading to embarrassing consequences. At one point, the schoolgirls ask Rukia if she has feelings for Ichigo. When Rukia denies any such thing, Orihime is disappointed that Rukia does not share her sentiments, because if she had, then it would be two girls against one boy and therefore the girls “team” would win, which makes no sense. She also tends to have an overactive imagination and gets carried away thinking of implausible scenarios, such as portraying herself as a futuristic and apparently highly destructive robot in an assignment asking “How do you see yourself in the future?”, when the question refers to what occupation one dreamt of or believes they will become.

Orihime has a crush on Ichigo Kurosaki which develops into love as the series progresses. This leads her to be jealous of the relationship Ichigo and Rukia Kuchiki share despite her friendship and admiration of both of them. She has revealed these feelings both to Rangiku Matsumoto and to Ichigo himself, though he was asleep at the time.

Orihime has also demonstrated that she is perceptive, mostly when it comes to Ichigo Kurosaki. She has the uncanny ability to detect Ichigo by scent, and sense his spiritual pressure, even when masked by a powerful barrier.

Through her expanding role in the manga, Orihime has become a more complex character than her earlier archetype suggested. Where Orihime was more happy and goofy at the start of the series later arcs deal with her feelings of inadequacy and inner turmoils. She also functions as a second female lead after the Soul Society arc, which was recognized when her character was featured along with female leads from other Weekly Shonen Jump series on a special Shonen Jump cover.

Orihime scores the highest marks in her year after Uryū Ishida and Ryō Kunieda. Despite her intelligence, she appears to lack “street smarts.” She is also a member of the Handicrafts’ Club with Uryū Like Chad and Uryū, she is in the same class as Ichigo. She is frequently in the company of Tatsuki, her best friend and a childhood friend of Ichigo’s. Orihime lives by herself in Karakura Town, where the story takes place, and is supported by relatives living elsewhere. Previously, she had lived with her older brother, Sora, who was fifteen years older than her. She and her brother were raised by parents who did not want children who were different.

When Sora turned eighteen, he ran away with Orihime, who was three years old, and raised her since. For nine years, Orihime and Sora lived in harmony despite the fact that Orihime was bullied in school because of her long orange hair. One day, Sora gave Orihime a pair of hairpins. However, Orihime refused to wear them because she said they were childish. On the same day, Sora was wounded in a car accident and died in the Kurosaki clinic. Orihime has worn the hairpins ever since. A year after Sora died, Orihime met Tatsuki who defended her from bullies who verbally and physically abused her because of her hair, which Orihime had cut short in an attempt to staunch the bullying. They have been best friends ever since, with Orihime returning to have her hair long in a show of faith for Tatsuki’s vow to protect her.


~ by edgarluvitug on January 27, 2009.

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